Staying away from big groups of people is one of best preventative measures in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak—but if you're making a Target run to stock up on the essentials, there's no avoiding the crowds. To deal with the sudden demand, the store says it's taking steps to keep shoppers safe, and an enhanced cleaning schedule is top priority.
Target's CEO Brian Cornell says stores have added extra staffing to handle that cleaning, which includes wiping down check out lanes and touch screens every 30 minutes. The store has also added more workers to services like Store Pick Up and Drive Up, which are both great options for avoiding crowds and minimizing your contact with germs.
"Our intention is to keep our 1,800+ stores across the country open, knowing our guests are relying on us for food, cleaning supplies, over-the-counter medicines, prescription pick-ups and more," says Cornell.
If you set out to a Target recently with cleaning, disinfecting, or medical supplies on your shopping list, you might have been disappointed. Cornell says the store is doing everything it can to keep those products in stock. "As demand for cleaning products, medicine, pantry stock-up items and more remains high, we're sending more products to our stores as quickly as possible," he said.
Cornell also says the company is prioritizing the healthy and safety of its employees. "We're encouraging sick team members to stay home and asking our teams to travel only if it's business critical," he wrote.
To do that Target is providing team members with 14 days of pay if they need to be quarantined and the retailer has also waived its absenteeism policy during the pandemic so that people who can't come to work due to flu-like symptoms or because of day care or school closures are not penalized.
Anxiety is really high right now, and there is definitely some panic buying going on. The CDC is encouraging Americans to stock up on enough essentials to get through a few weeks, but we all need to be considerate when we're out shopping, at Target or anywhere else. Get what you need, be kind to your fellow shoppers and the likely exhausted store employees, and when you get home, wash your hands.